|Wednesday, 28 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 03-08-05
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINES--A huge car bomb killed 10 people and wounded dozens more today after ripping through a luxury hotel in the heart of Indonesia's capital.
-Portugal's worst forest fires in a generation have killed two more people, bringing the death toll to 11 in a week while in Canada the fires were under control.
-- The Cyprus Central Bank has announced the lifting of certain exchange restrictions, in the context of the preplanned gradual lifting of all restrictions by Cyprus' accession to the European Union in May 2004.
--Four Turkish ministers will pay an illegal visit to the occupied areas on Friday where they will arrive to participate in a meeting of the Turkey - illegal regime association council.
 JAKARTA BLASTA huge car bomb killed 10 people and wounded dozens more today after ripping through a luxury hotel in the heart of Indonesia's capital.
The city's governor said a suicide bomber was probably responsible for the attack -- timed as thousands of office workers poured onto the streets for their lunch break.
The blast originated in the basement of the JW Marriott Hotel in Kuningan on one of the main roads through Jakarta's business district.
Police spokesman Prasetyo said one foreigner was among the 10 killed and two Americans, two Singaporeans, an Australian and a New Zealander among the 83 injured.
Jakarta's Governor said there is a strong possibility this was a suicide bomber.
Defence Minister Matori Abdul Djalil was more blunt, saying it was a bomb and calling it "clearly an act of terrorism".
Washington said last week that Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network was planning new suicide hijackings and bombings in the United States and abroad. The U.S. embassy held its 4th of July independence celebrations at the hotel.
 FIRESPortugal's worst forest fires in a generation have killed two more people, bringing the death toll to 11 in a week.
About 3,400 firefighters and soldiers had worked through the night to take advantage of a drop in temperatures to combat fires, many of which have raged for days.
Portugal declared national disaster yesterday and made more than 100 million euros available to victims of the blazes.
In the past week some 35,000 acres of woodland have been destroyed by fires, according to a preliminary estimate by the Forestry Commission.
Meanwhile, in western Canada, exhausted crews battling the country's worst wildfire conditions in decades made progress against some of the largest blazes, allowing some of the estimated 8,500 evacuated people to return to their homes.
Officials stressed that with the weather forecast calling for stronger winds, lightning and no rain, the fight was far from over against the fires burning out of control near Kamloops, about about 275 km northeast of Vancouver.
Winds were also hampering the fight against a blaze in the Crowsnest Pass region of southwestern Alberta's Rocky Mountains, which has forced up to 2,000 people to leave.
No deaths have been reported from the fires, but several dozen homes have been destroyed or damaged. Officials estimate 5,000 people are now under evacuation orders with another 5,000 on high alert.
 QATAR EMIR- The emir of Qatar, a key U.S. ally, today named his younger son as heir apparent, replacing his other son Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, who diplomats say has been asking for wider powers.
An official decree carried by the news agency QNA said Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani accepted the decision by Sheikh Jassim to step down as crown prince and replaced him with his younger brother Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.
Both sons are in their 20s.
There was no immediate explanation for the change, but diplomats say Sheikh Jassim had been complaining of being sidelined in the running of the oil-and-gas rich country.
 EXCHANGE CENTRAL BANKThe Cyprus Central Bank has announced the lifting of certain exchange restrictions, in the context of the preplanned gradual lifting of all restrictions by Cyprus' accession to the European Union in May 2004.
A Central Bank press release notes that the lifting of the restrictions is occurring earlier than the deadline agreed on with the EU and will have an immediate effect.
The restrictions lifted concern current international exchanges, personal expenses, international cards, capital transfers and exchange restrictions for non-residents of Cyprus.
 MINISTERS TURKEYFour Turkish ministers will pay an illegal visit to the occupied areas on Friday where they will arrive to participate in a meeting of the Turkey - illegal regime association council.
They are vice president Abduladif Sener, Finance Minister Keman Unakitan and Ali Babacan and Kursat Tuzmen.
Turkish Cypriot daily "Halkin Sesi" dedicates a large part of its front page on the meeting and writes "towards economic unification with Turkey" while nationalist Volkan refers to the customs union between the two.
 EDUCATION MINISTEREducation Minister Pefkios Georgiades revoked all holiday leave for the ministry's staff from 18 August so that the ministry will be ready to respond to the increased applications for the second drawing of positions at universities and higher education institutions in Cyprus and Greece.
Mr. Georgiades also said during a tour of Paphos schools that the provisions of the law will be applied. He also said that the high levels of illiteracy will be handled by limiting the number of pupils in classes, creating educational priority zones and training teachers.
 STONES CANCEL CONCERTBritish rock legends the Rolling Stones postponed a concert scheduled for Tuesday in the Spanish coastal resort of Benidorm as frontman Mick Jagger succumbed to laryngitis.
The concert was the Stones' last performance in Spain -- where they are commonly known as "Los Rolling" -- as part of their "40 Licks" tour which was due to end in London in mid-September.
While an official date for the rescheduled Benidorm concert was not immediately announced, Spanish media said it would take place on September 19 and that tickets would remain valid.
Mr. Jagger, who turned 60 last month, and the rest of the Stones have thrilled their Spanish fans on this tour with concerts in Bilbao, Madrid and Barcelona.
 WEATHERThis afternoon the weather will be clear. Winds will turn to moderate sea breezes, four beaufort, reaching five on the south coast. Temperatures will reach 39 C inland, 34 C on the south and east coast and 31 over the mountains.
Tonight the weather will remain clear but thin mist and low cloud will form in some areas. Winds will be westerly to north-westerly light, two to three beaufort and the sea slight. Temperatures will fall to 24 C inland and on the coasts and 22 over the mountains.
The fire hazard remains extremely high in all forest areas.